Victim dies following April shooting in Glenwood Springs
The victim in a domestic violence-related shooting in downtown Glenwood Springs in April died in November, raising the possibility for first-degree murder charges against the shooter.
Whether Thomas James Degrasse Powell, 26, of New Rochelle, N.Y., died as a direct result of gunshot wounds he sustained in the April 26, 2021, shooting at the hands of Padrikea Nichols, 36, of Silt, has not yet been disclosed.
Powell died Nov. 12 in New Rochelle, according to an obituary posted to the Wiseman Funeral Home website. A memorial service was held on Monday, the obituary states.
Nichols remains in the Garfield County Jail on $250,000 bond, charged with attempted first-degree murder and first-degree assault in connection with the shooting behind a home in the 800 block of Pitkin Avenue.
At the time of an Oct. 21 preliminary hearing for Nichols, Powell was reportedly on a ventilator and paralyzed from the neck down, according to testimony in court before Garfield District Judge John Neiley.
Following the near five-hour-long hearing, Neiley bound the case over for trial next spring on the attempted murder and assault charges.
Whether Powell’s death will result in murder charges remains to be seen.
Deputy 9th District Attorney James Stone confirmed that prosecutors are aware of Powell’s death, and that the “investigation is ongoing” pending more information.
A call by the Post Independent to the Westchester County, N.Y., Medical Examiner inquiring about the exact cause of Powell’s death was not immediately returned.
Nichols has claimed self-defense in the incident in which Glenwood Springs police responded around 8:19 p.m. April 26 to find Powell bleeding from what ended up being two gunshot wounds from a handgun, one to the upper leg and another to his face.
Powell was eventually taken by air ambulance to a Denver trauma center where he was hospitalized for a lengthy period of time and underwent multiple surgeries.
Powell was married to Nichols’ ex-wife, and police investigators said the shooting was the apparent culmination of a dispute between Nichols and Powell involving the woman that had been brewing for some time.
The night before the shooting, according to police testimony, Nichols and his ex-wife were at a downtown bar-restaurant drinking when Powell called the woman’s cell phone.
A loud three-way argument over the speaker phone during which several threats were made, and which could be heard by bystanders, resulted in the police being called.
After police officers arrived, Nichols allegedly said he had the right to carry a firearm, and that if something were to happen between him and Powell he would be acting in self-defense.
His parting words that night were allegedly something akin to “pow, pow, pow,” or “pop, pop, pop,” according to police testimony.
The next night, Nichols allegedly came to his ex-wife’s Glenwood residence on suspicion that Powell had threatened her during an argument.
Security video from a neighboring residence played during the Oct. 21 preliminary hearing showed a man identified as Powell emerging from the back porch to confront Nichols, who was driving by on the back street in a pickup truck.
Powell is seen tearing his shirt off and aggressively approaching Nichols’ truck. Nichols starts to back away but then stops and gets out to confront Powell.
Nichols is then seen retrieving what police said was a Sccy brand 9mm pistol, taken into evidence when Nichols was arrested and his Silt home searched later that night, and walks back around the vehicle.
After firing two warning shots into the ground, he then allegedly turned the gun on Powell, shooting him twice. Witnesses, including Nichols’ ex, attempted to get him to get back in the truck and leave, but he allegedly fired a fifth shot.
During the preliminary hearing, Stone argued it was that fifth shot, fired in Powell’s direction but missing as he lay helpless and bleeding on the ground, that proves Nichols intended to kill Powell.
Evidence also revealed that Powell was carrying a handgun in his pocket at the time. However, he never took it out of his pocket during the confrontation, and it was later determined that the pistol was not loaded, police said.
Many of the details of the investigation were not revealed in court until the Oct. 21 preliminary hearing, after the judge who initially heard the case last spring ordered the case file sealed due to the ongoing investigation.
As it stands, a two-week trial for the attempted murder and assault charges against Nichols is scheduled for March 28 through April 8, 2022.
Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or email@example.com.
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